Success of the Portugese Pro-life Federation
Using the instrument of Law Initiative of Citizens, the Portugese Pro-life Federation managed to achieve important changes in the abortion law of Portugal.
The new pro-life bill requires women to receive counseling prior to an abortion and pay for it themselves. The changes were accomplished through a campaign launched in October 2014.
The campaign was supported by the Portugese Bishops' Conference, about 40 well-known Law University Professors, 8% of the local mayors, by important part of the Portugese pro-life movement, by Catholic movements and Evangelical churches. It also counted on the support of center-right politicians and members of the Parliament, as well as with the advocacy of Portuguese Catholic Radio Renascença.
More than 48 thousand signatures were delivered in February 2015: then, a complicated parliamentary process followed - ending on the 22nd of July with an important part of the proposal approved in the last plenary session of the present legislature. The President of the country subsequently signed it and now the government has 90 days to rule it.
This democratic and participative instrument (established in 2003) was used only three times before the Pro-life Federation initiative - and in this case it managed to gain the highest number of signatures. The Pontifical Academy for Life was informed about initiative by Antonio Pinheiro Torres, the Portuguese Pro-life Federation vice-president. More information can be found at www.pelodireitoanascer.org.